The world changed ten years ago today. Many people just learned what a tsunami was, so many of us hadn’t even heard the word, for hundreds of thousands more their lives were devastated when a tidal wave crashed onto land following a massive earthquake. Family members were lost, villages wiped out, livelihoods destroyed. And in amongst all that destruction were two of our greatest friends: Sam and Debbie.
I wrote about losing them for Standard Issue Magazine recently, you can read it here: A Decade After the Tsunami
I had worked with Sam for two years, my first foray into the world of property as I returned to work after getting divorced. I had never worked in property before but he gave me the confidence to think I could actually do this and made every day fun. I remember vividly the day he phoned the plastic surgery clinic and asked them if they could remove his third nipple. They confirmed they could, and that it was in fact very common. The poor receptionist was grilled for ages and genuinely thought Sam was serious about needing this operation. Until he mentioned the third nipple was on his forehead.
The story of the hotdogs being boiled in the kettle and the water not changed ahead of coffees being made is the stuff of legend now. That was just how it was with Sam. His girlfriend Debbie worked in another office and she too was loved by everbody, nobody ever had a bad word to say about her.
Their holiday to Thailand was the trip of a lifetime and when they said goodbye on the last day of work that year, we never expected we wouldn’t see them again. We all sat glued to the TV from the moment we heard what had happened.
We still can’t believe now that will never see them again. It seems unbelievable. Even now, even ten years later.
The tattoo on my wrist is my memory to them. My reminder that you need to live life because you don’t know what is around the corner. You don’t know what might happen and so you need to live life to the full.
Please join me in raising a glass to two friends who are missed dreadfully every day, and particularly on Boxing Day
RIP Sam and Debbie, you are still much loved, and very much missed.